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to be freaked out by LO's "pretend friend"?

(36 Posts)
NancysGarden Sun 19-Jul-09 21:17:58

(Posted on spirituality section also but perhaps better suited here):

I'm not sure where I stand on the subject of lost souls but my LO has recently been making lots of noise on the monitor after being put down to bed and this evening just casually brought up her "pretend friend" Abi. To my knowledge she doesn't know any Abis. She talked about her in a funny light-hearted way for about half an hour and then it began to scare me when she talked about being afraid and Abi being afraid of who was coming to get her. It went on until bedtime (a good hour in total) and the last bit seemed extremely anxious. Whatever I said made it worse so I just tried to distract her.

Any advice/ ideas? I know it's a strange one but having put her to bed I am feeling very uneasy and have my ear fixed to the monitor. Have also left the bedroom door open.

Alambil Sun 19-Jul-09 21:33:10

DS has about 6 imaginary friends; they play, one takes the rap for all the naughty stuff - the usual

DS also went through a stage of thinking something was coming to get him - I told him to just say "NO - go away and leave me alone" - it gave him the "power" to control his feelings and seemed to help him settle down

NancysGarden Sun 19-Jul-09 21:36:07

good idea thanks Lewisfan

dilemma456 Mon 20-Jul-09 14:56:56

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dilemma456 Mon 20-Jul-09 14:58:40

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Overmydeadbody Mon 20-Jul-09 14:59:26

I don't think you need to worry, it all sounds very normal to me, but obviously it might freak you out a bit.

It's just an imaginary friend. A way for children to work through their own fears in a safe way.

NancysGarden Mon 20-Jul-09 21:51:20

Cor that it is scary dilema. Where do they get it from? I must admit I got cross this morning and said "I don't want to hear any more about Abi" and LO burst into uncontrollable fits of tears. I had to retract that and try distracting again (after listening to a bit more information on Abi).

The part that freaks me out the most is I don't think she's ever even heard the name Abi (she's 2;8). Anyway, I'm sure you are all right.

Thank you for the reassurance.

PigeonPie Mon 20-Jul-09 22:05:39

I don't think you need to worry about the name. My DS1 has an imaginary friend called Nick and and we have no idea where it came from as we don't know anyone of that name - the only thing we can think is that it's from a story. They pick up names from all sorts of things and people which you probably haven't even noticed.

bluemousemummy Mon 20-Jul-09 22:06:54

Wouldn't worry. Almost certainly something she has seen on telly that has made an impression on her and stayed with her for some reason. Ds1 does this all the time. He was going on and on about a red man recently and saying "the red man will come. And he will say oh, hello [ds1's name]" etc. Turned out to be someone off of Cbeebies! grin

nickschick Mon 20-Jul-09 22:07:22

My ds had an 'imaginary friend' it was barry rooka his verucca.

Ripeberry Mon 20-Jul-09 22:52:21

My DD1 when she was two years old had about 5 different imaginary friends (all animals).
Then one day she watched 'Lion King' and ever since she has fancied herself as a lion.
I think it's just the sign of an overactive, intelligent imagination smile

NancysGarden Mon 20-Jul-09 23:21:48

grin nickschick

I have heard that imaginary friends are generally a good sign of a healthy imagination.

I had an imaginary friend myself as a child but my mother tells me that started at about 3;6.

Often LO will come out with something completely random but we usually get to the bottom of it. This one has really thrown me.

Feeling quietly reassured now anyway so will let all other Abi-related comments wash over me smile

TigerDrivesAgain Mon 20-Jul-09 23:25:29

It's very odd. I wouldn't worry too much.

When DS was about 3 he had two imaginary horses called Whiskey and Sparrowhorse. We had to take these bloomin horses everywhere and even had to double back on a walk when I had inadvertently left them cooped up in their imaginary horsebox.

Looking back I don't quite know how I kept a straight face, but it was very serious for DS grin

JoyS Tue 21-Jul-09 00:30:31

My nephew had an imaginary friend called Bobbo. They moved from a flat to a house, and in one of the upstairs rooms there was a small door to a closet/crawl space. Nephew (2.5 at the time) pronounced it 'Bobbo's room.' He'd be playing, and would just stop, be silent for a minute and announce 'Bobbo's here' in a creepy voice. Freaked us all right out.

MollieOolala Tue 21-Jul-09 00:48:27

Ds (5)has had an imaginary family since he was 2 - Jimmy (mum), Dado (dad), Tommy and Jackie (children who vary in ages from 5 to 13), Kid (either a toddler or a baby) and Chippy (babysitter). A dog (can't remember name) puts in an occasional appearance. Sometimes ds works and employs a team of 10 imaginary builders. Whenever he speaks to them he uses a variety of different voices.

He writes about his 'activities' with them when he is at school. Ds latest school report mentioned something about how interesting his home life is!

I think it is all perfectly normal if a little excessive.

nikki1978 Tue 21-Jul-09 07:12:56

My DD has a pretend friend and I am pretty sure she got the idea from Peppa Pig (thats the first time I have heard pretend friend instead of imaginary friend and she copies everything from that bloody program!).

Anyway I don't think it is anything to worry about just exercising the imagination! For some reason my daughters pretend friend is very small so we all keep sitting on her!

Goblinchild Tue 21-Jul-09 07:32:05

We had invisible Spiderman for several years, he used the middle seatbelt in the car and dislikes broccoli. It's fine, it's normal.
Spidey is still her favourite hero, but she got A* GCSE for literacy, is predicted to get A this summer in A levels and is off to uni with no harm done. I think her invisible friend did her good. grin

Buda Tue 21-Jul-09 07:39:21

We had Scooby Doo and the gang. I even had to ask what they wanted to eat! They even went to nursery a few times. DS would have been about 3.

pellmell Tue 21-Jul-09 08:04:56

Actually I think you are letting your imagination run wild.
This is completely normal. She may have heard another child say Abi or one of her friends may have a sibling or friend called Abi which has been mantioned in her presence....loads of ways. Children soak up all this extra info that we filter as we don't have the headspace for it. wink
The fact that you left the door open and kept an ear to the monitor shows that you are stressing over something ?

MrsOlf Tue 21-Jul-09 08:30:53

I'm sure everyone here is right. DD1 (34 months) doesn't have imaginary friends but spends maybe 40% of her time pretending to be someone else, normally her 5 year old cousin who she idolises but often people we've seen recently. That's all fine but DH gets very annoyed when his day starts with "Daddy I'm Holly and you're Uncle Ben..." wink

GentleOtter Tue 21-Jul-09 08:51:43

It is just a phase they go through so please don't be worried about it. Our children had 'Mr Kochca' (ds1) who had a deep voice but told stories, 'The children', (dd) and now 'Biting Rabbit', (ds2).
You might find that the imaginary play friends have an appetite for biscuits or can be blamed for minor incidents....

mummytopebs Tue 21-Jul-09 08:52:24

My dd is at the moment sitting on the living room floor with her 'friend' megan, she has been talking to her for the last 30 minutes. She occasionally gets up and dances around the room, wish i could see her - not. Well at least it gives me some quality mumsnet time. 'Megan' will be with us for around another 30 minutes before she leaves, but she will be back tommorrow morning to see dd.

Ripeberry Tue 21-Jul-09 10:11:07

I was the "Mum, my friends need extra biscuits" I soon contoned onto that and 'pretended' to give her imaginary friends 'special biscuits' grin

pranma Tue 21-Jul-09 10:57:44

My step daughter had an imaginary friend called Half past Trencher who had all sorts of lovely food and clothes.Turned out to be Marks and Spencer!!!

notsoteenagemum Tue 21-Jul-09 11:08:23

Dd had Mouse from about 2.5 until she was nearly 5(around the time dd found a best friend), when Mouse went to live with her Grandma. Mouse was a bit of a handful but part of the family, I once found myself running back onto a bus to retreive Mouse from the back seat!blush

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